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Reducing Audit Fees

Division Donovan & Watkins, Professional Division February 7, 2020

Business Scenario:

Our client had implemented FAS123, Shared Based Payments, at the instance of their CPA Firm. Our client did not have the technical ability or the accounting resources to prepare the footnote analysis for the second year, nor had they maintained the HR records in a manner amenable to audit.

Project Scope: Our team of consultants worked directly with the client to develop a timeline for transitioning from Cash Basis Accounting to Accrual Basis.

Phase 1)

Updated HR Records. We created a schedule that showed options assignments, sales, and cancellation by each individual and then populated the schedule that would be auditable.

Phase 2)

Reviewed Black Scholes assumptions; review company valuation assumptions – FAS 123 recommends the use of various option pricing tools to ensure the liability and expense is fairly stated. Our client had chosen a simple Black Scholes model upon investigation, had misestimated variability in the year prior relative to industry comparable and had external validation of the value of the company which feeds into the option liability and expense valuation. We estimated the amount of the prior year misstatement and worked with the accounting firm to avoid restatement.

Phase 3)

Prepare current year disclosures and prepare FAS 123 “How To” documentation. Worked with the client and the auditors to reduce audit time and cost and prepared tutorials on how to use the FAS 123R spreadsheet tool to generate accounting disclosures.

Clients Return on Investment:

The client did not have the knowledge or time to create FAS123 schedules. We were able to provide the work in less than 100 hours. Prior year audit cost for FAS 123 ran about $11,000 and current audit fees were reduced for the FAS 123 to $2,000. In addition, the client received a working methodology to keep FAS123R support current and a methodology to generate footnote disclosures.

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